Eyeing London during unplanned stopover

August 13, 2019

Last month my husband and I planned to meet up with our college-age daughter in Grenoble, France, at the end of her study abroad program there. When our connecting flight through London Heathrow was cancelled (and not rescheduled for THREE days, so we ended up taking a train instead), we unexpectedly had 24 hours for sightseeing. Along with hordes of other tourists, we rode the London Eye.

The iconic Ferris wheel — technically a cantilevered observation wheel — rises high over the River Thames, to 443 feet (135 metres).

You and up to 24 other people ride standing or sitting in a windowed capsule that appears to defy gravity by staying upright on the exterior of the circular frame. It takes about 30 minutes to make one full rotation on the wheel, so you have plenty of time to savor views and indulge your vertigo.

The views of the city are jaw-dropping.

Not far from the Eye, we happened upon a pleasant garden between sleek new condos.

We visited the Tate Modern and enjoyed this balcony view of the Thames, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Millennium Bridge.

In King’s Cross Station, despite being Muggles ourselves, we located magical Platform 9-3/4 and spotted young witches and wizards pushing trolleys through the wall.

Ah, illusion spoiled. Check out the scarf holder — not feeling the magic, I think!

The next day we boarded a non-magical train through the Chunnel, hopped another from Paris to Lyon, and then rented a car to Grenoble, where we rendezvoused at last with our daughter. After a cool, drizzly morning sightseeing in Grenoble, we headed for sunny Provence. Stay tuned for lavender fields and sunset-hued Roussillon.

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